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In Search of the Ideal Swimsuit

Well Girls, each Spring the annual ritual swings into action!  The Swimsuit!  Thought you would enjoy the tongue-in-cheek reminder, and thanks to the unknown writer.

"I have just been through the annual pilgrimage of torture and humiliation known as buying a bathing suit.  When I was a child in the 1950's the bathing costume for a woman with a mature figure was designed for a woman with a mature figure – boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered.  They were built to hold back and uplift and they did a darn good job.

Today's stretch fabrics are designed for the pre-pubescent girl with a figure chipped from marble.  The mature woman has a choice - she can either front up at the maternity department and try on a floral costume with a skirt and look alarmingly like a hippopotamus escaped from Disney's Fantasia - or she can wander around every run of the mill department store trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer range of fluoro rubber bands.  What choice did I have?

I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors - the fitting room!  The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material.  The Lycra used in bathing suits was developed, I believe, by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which give the added bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you are protected from shark attacks.   The reason being that a shark taking a swipe at your passing midriff would immediately suffer whiplash.

I fought my way into the bathing costume, but as I twanged the shoulder strap into place I gasped in horror - my bosom had disappeared.  Eventually I found one bosom cowering under my left armpit. It took a while to find the other but I did eventually locate it, flattened beside my seventh rib.

It is a major problem that the modern bathing suit has no bra cups.  The mature woman is meant to wear her bosom spread across her chest like a speed bump.  I re-aligned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take in the full view and make an assessment.

The bathing suit fit was OK - for those bits that were willing to stay inside it.  The rest of me oozed out rebelliously - top, bottom and sides.  I looked like a lump of play dough wearing undersized cling wrap.

As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from, the pre-pubescent salesgirl popped her head through the curtains. "Oh, it is YOU!" she said, admiring the suit.  I replied that I wasn't so sure and asked what else she had to show me.

I tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking tape, and a floral two piece which gave the appearance of an oversize napkin in a serviette ring.  I struggled into a leopard skin suit with a ragged frill and came out looking like Tarzan's Jane on a bad day.  I tried a black number with a midriff and looked like a jellyfish in mourning.  I tried on a bright pink pair with such a high cut leg I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear it.

Finally I found a suit that did fit.  A two piece affair with shorts-style bottoms and a halter top.  It was cheap, comfortable and bulge-friendly, so I bought it.

When I got home I read the label.  It said, "Material may become transparent in water", but I'm determined to wear it anyway.   I'll just have to learn to breast stroke in the sand."

Tip for swimsuits - think beyond black.  Summer is fun, try a colour and enjoy your swimsuits.  A first option might be to choose a swimsuit in one tone (with a simple trim or elegant detail) and team this with a fabulous sarong or wrap. If you prefer your swimsuit to be printed, think simple/elegant prints rather than loud.  Printed swimsuits team best with either matching sarongs or plain coloured wraps tonal of course to your swimsuit colour.

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Chris' interactive colour book "What colour am I?" graphically displayed in full colour shows you how to choose your best swimsuit colour.  For more information simply click here NOW.

Visit www.suerice.com.au for a swimsuit that caters to your specific needs.

Brands to look for include - 2Chillies, Baku, Moontide, Palazzi*, Rochford, Seafolly, Sunseeker and Wahine.

*The 'Palazzi' range is designed with built-in features such as tummy control, full bust support, hip help and bust enhancement and to give you a more flattering shape.  Attached to every item are a series of swing tags describing which of those features have been built into the swimsuit.  There are also suits available for post mastectomy.

Mastectomy swimsuits may be found at Leila O'Toole Pty Ltd, Room 2, 8th Floor, Dymocks Block, 428 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Phone (02) 9231 1705 or email leila.otoole@bigpond.com.

Fuller Figure - Article

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